128 LIFE OF entirely new view of the coxmtry was acquired through this bold a,nd penetrating traveller, who made a large number of independent latitude inoflKuroiuonts, and who obtained varied information on trawlliug routes and local circumstances from travelled Tartars, 'Bulgarians, and Taschkents, as well as from the Russian officers. The inner, central part of Asin was fnot,, as had been supposed, an immense agglotnoration of mountains., nor an uninterrupted tablo land, for Humboldt established that this part of tho worl^l was crossed from east to west by four mountain- systems (by the Altai., which ends westward in. tho Kirghiz district, by the Himmelsborg, by Kuenliirij and by the Himalaya), which have exercised authen- ticated influence on the historical migrations of nations. And thus Humboldt discovered a volcanic territory in the centre of Asia, which is 1000 to 144)0 miles distant from the ocean, and which presents a surface of 2500 geographical miles. The second volume of the "Asiatic Fragments" contains, beside the description of tho twelve routes, " Observations on the Temperature and tho Hygrometric Condition of the Atmosphere in some portions of Asia, and Investigations into the Causes of the Deflection of .the Isothermic Lines/*-—i+ e.9 the imaginary lines which unite all points on the earth of equal mean temperature. In this volume we have important contributions to a climatic knowledge of that country, and in it are indicated also the causes which produce the deflection of the isothermic lines from the parallel circles.* These results, based on numerous astronomic and magnetic measurements, throw an entirely new ligM on this branch of science, and are again, closely connected with the results of the former American journey, as Humboldt had there also construed the terrestrial laws from similar phe- nomena in the old and new world. * The parallel circles run parallel with the equator, and the meaxx animal temperature generally decreases with their increasing breadth —the approach to the poles.